Every year at Telluride, they do three Tributes. In recent years, at least, they've tended to have one film person who's well-known in his or her own country, but not widely known and appreciated, one film person who is well-known pretty much everywhere, and one person who's made a significant contribution to film, even though you may not recognize their name. This year's tributes are Indian filmmaker Shyam Benegal (first category), French composer Michel Legrand, and actor Daniel Day-Lewis, whose tribute was held tonight at the Sheridan Opera House.

Thankfully, I had a Patron Pass to get into it, because the venue only holds 250, and between the patrons and priority line (for the Sheridan, every pass has two numbers shaded in that correspond to the film's program numbers -- a shaded number means you get priority seating there for that particular show) the house was packed. I doubt very much that any passholders who weren't lucky enough to have the number "1" shaded on their passes made it into this event.

Daniel Day-Lewis doesn't do a lot of interviews, so the chance to see him in person and hear him speak was too good to resist. I lucked out and got a perfect seat on the floor, thanks to a fellow journalist who had an extra seat next to him that he very kindly offered to me. The evening kicked off (after an intro by fest co-director Gary Meyer -- who, like all the staff at this fest, is so nice and engaging, you just want to sit down and hang out with him over coffee) with a one-hour compilation of clips from Day-Lewis' impressive filmography, from his uncredited role as a child vandal in Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) to The Ballad of Jack and Rose (2005), which his wife, Rebecca Miller, wrote and directed. The clips were nicely edited, showing Day-Lewis' range as an actor and the wide variety of roles he's chosen throughout his career.

More on the tribute, plus some pics, after the jump ...